Fitness and good food are important for your mental health. Research suggests that exercise helps lower anxiety and improve mood. And we know foods impact the way we feel.

New Year resolutions are an opportunity to set fitness, nutrition, and mental health goals for 2024. But the reality is many of us fall short of our goals by Jan. 3.  As a trainer, I want to share simple tips that will help you stick to your resolutions for better mental health, diet, and fitness.

Let me tell you about my experience. I believe we can do anything once we decide. I lost 35 lbs. and completely transformed my body after becoming a mom. I understand the work and dedication it takes to reach fitness and mental health goals, or any goal for that matter. Not to mention the dedication it takes to maintain a result while dealing with the highs and lows of life. Over the past five years, my gym has supported thousands of people in getting healthy and fitness results by following the 80/20/100 formula: 80 percent clean dieting, 20 percent exercise, and 100 percent consistency and commitment.

What can help you keep your health and fitness resolutions for 2024?

One very important step is to realize we all have the time to work out and cook healthily. The key is to properly plan to work for your goal of feeling better. One must be truly intentional with their time to be successful in any area of life.

You can improve your time management with simple tools. For example, writing out your day in time blocks. If you do it every day, you will manage your time better. Planning out your day and blocking out time for your workouts is needed to see the benefits of exercise on your mental health. Hold your workouts in the same regard you hold your work: as a non-negotiable.

Many people don’t stick to their fitness and mental health resolutions because of finances. People say, “I can’t afford a personal trainer, gym membership, or healthy foods.”

There are so many ways to save on food and fitness. You can find many fitness routines online for free. Fresh foods can be purchased at a low cost from farm markets, discount supermarkets, or buying in as well as other resources such as food banks, churches, and local non-profits.

People also drop New Year resolutions because of their mindset. Yes, your mindset to eat well and to exercise can be your biggest asset or your worst liability. The mind is so powerful, which is why deciding is key to achieving any life goal you set for yourself.

How you do one thing is how you do everything. Whatever area of your life you are successful in comes with work and dedication. That same mentality is required when it comes to your health and fitness. People feel exhausted from exercising.

Are you ready to hear the secret sauce? The opposite effect happens when you work out and eat a nutrient-rich diet. Your energy grows, and you start feeling better.

Exercising and eating healthy are good for our body and mind. I suggest that, in 2024, you start small.  Do thirty minutes of physical activity to increase your heart rate three times each week. The explosion of results doesn’t come overnight. This New Year, don’t do your best; do whatever it takes to stay healthy and happy.

About the Author: Mary Nesbitt is a mom of an 18-month-old baby girl (Love you, Lamiery) and a Christian entrepreneur, gym owner (@Affirm_fitness), vice president of a nonprofit organization (Youth Athletes by Affirm Fitness), health coach, orator, member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and community organizer.